“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD. Blessed are the people he has chosen as his own.” —Psalm 33:12
The Fourth of July was always the high point of my long, hot summer, while growing up in Lancaster County, PA. My sister and I could hardly wait to attend the large family gatherings with our Buchwalter clan. It was a day to reconnect with aunts, uncles, and oodles of cousins. There was plenty of fun, too—all sorts of outdoor games, including croquet, badminton, and hide-and-seek for the younger children. And, oh, the sweet corn-on-the-cob! I still remember that first bite, and the butter dripping onto my chin.
But always there was time set aside for prayer, and we joined hands to thank God for the blessing of freedom in this land called America.
Yes, I enjoyed having seconds of strawberry pie with real whipped cream, and I cherished the best fellowship ever till long after dark when all the kids ran around catching lightning bugs in jars with holes punched in the metal lids. And sparklers and fireworks to top off the day.
But it was the knitting together of extended family, combined with our "most holy faith" that lifted my young heart. And still stirs precious memories even now.
I wish you a happy and inspiring Fourth!
“What we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from our children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, His power, and the wonders He has done.” —Psalm 78:3-4
I grew up hearing this verse quoted to my sister and me (from the KJV) quite often. My parents believed it was important to pass the baton of faith to their girls, so that we, in turn, could speak “the truth in love” to our own children and grandchildren one day.
My father was a man of the Word. He studied it; he based his Sunday sermons on it. And he taught me to quote from memory whole chapters from the Bible, from the time I was in primary school, and even earlier. He believed that if you “train up a child” in the way he or she should go, the living, breathing Word of God would form and shape that child’s entire life.
I remember my father inviting the neighborhood children that my sister and I walked to school with, encouraging them to join us in memorizing Scripture each week day. These are precious memories to me…this Daddy of mine, so eager to spread the joy of the Gospel to everyone he met. So enthusiastic about making friends with people, in order to introduce them to the Savior.
So, this Father’s Day, I will miss my dad very much, but I will count my blessings because the Lord chose him to be my father for all those wonderful years!
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads…and happy summer to everyone,
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.” —Phil. 3:3-4 (NIV)
Now that May has arrived and we're enjoying all of springtime’s glory, I’ve been enjoying looking at the pictures my tour-team took during the recent book tour to Virginia and North Carolina.
And you know what? I’m remembering the kindness of many people, including the flight attendant who assisted me far beyond the call of duty while I was stranded in Atlanta, the day after 500+ flights in and out of there were canceled due to weather. I’m also thinking of my very caring tour managers who made it appear so effortless for me to get from hotels, to the van, to stores and libraries…with a broken right ankle. Talk about amazing—they certainly were! I’m thankful for them, and for the bookstore owners and librarians who made the tour possible by hosting me so graciously.
There were so many, many points of sharing that took place, and I’m grateful to God for giving me the courage and strength to do this book tour. On that note, I’m out of the big, black “walking boot,” and fairly close to back to normal. Thanks very much for your prayers…for this author who tends to go 90-miles-per-hour.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!
“But those who drink the water that I will give them will never become thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give them will become in them a spring that gushes up to eternal life.” —John 4:14 (GW)
Since the start of this year, we who live in the semi-arid region of the country have experienced very little moisture. Each morning from our breakfast nook, Dave and I have looked out at the dry, brown landscape behind our house, wondering when (if?) we would ever see green grass and underbrush again. We prayed constantly for rain or snow or sleet—any type of moisture was welcome. And, day after day, the moisture bypassed us, moving farther north and east, due to the jet stream's trajectory, ignoring the areas of the country most desperate for it.
Last week, at long last, imagine our joy—and that of all the ranchers, cattlemen, and other homeowners—when a soaking rain fell from the heavens...and the next day a lovely three-inch snow, with even more to come in the days that followed! So, for all the times we had prayed, asking God for moisture, we began to thank Him that much more for sending it our way, answering prayer.
In Jesus’ encountering with the Samaritan woman (drawing water at the well), He knew without a doubt she was yearning for water that would quench her spiritual thirst. She longed for something more than mere physical water. He saw into her heart, which was parched in the midst of a drought, and He had the answer: “a spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” (The Message)
This Easter Season, among many other blessings, I want to remember my own desperate yearning for that "gushing fountain" as a young girl when I opened my heart to Christ’s answer. I also want to remember that the gift of suffering brings us to our knees...to Him. And to life eternal.
A most blessed Easter to my dear reader-friends!